Eddie Huang, an up-and-coming star in the food world is not only a restauranteur, but an entrepreneur, and television personality. Huang's use of social media has earned him a mention in Zagat’s "30 Under 30" list and gained him a large following on Twitter. At a session at SXSWi on Monday entitled "The Social Media Chef", Huang was on-hand to discuss, among other things, how social media has enhanced his brand and his restaurant's story.
Here's a few takeaways from Huang's SXSW presentation.
Think in Three Acts
Whatever your industry, everyone involved in your brand's social media activities is a writer now, or at least should always be thinking like one. "Think in three acts" at all times, Huang notes. It's always about the brand story. Being involved in social platforms, such as blogging, lets you get to what your brand is about far more than you could before. In his case, speaking to the restaurant business, Huang feels they need to answer the question "beyond the food, what are you about?" Every brand activity on social should be about sharing the story.
Employees Should Lead the Way
Huang discussed sharing the passwords for the restaurant social media accounts with employees, such as their Instagram and Tumblr accounts. Speaking to a fellow restauranteur in the audience, he noted, "You may have a server in your dining room that could totally kill it online, let them have a go." It's a great message for brands. Social media should be a company wide initiative. It's not just the role of Community or Marketing. There could be a developer in your organization with a tremendous sense of humor, encourage employees to get active on social channels, retweet them liberally from the corporate handles.
You've Got More Control Than You Think
Though the situation may be different for larger brands, Huang enthusiastically noted that with social media channels now readily at his disposal, he's no longer beholden to any PR reps or other parties to get his message- his story - across. A common talking point regarding social media is that the consumer now controls the conversation. While that's true, Huang seemed unfazed at the notion that others can and will discuss the brand. Social media affords HIM a tremendous voice as well, he appears ready to play in that world right alongside his patrons, and critics.
Keep it Weird
Fittingly, while speaking in Austin, Texas where the slogan is "Keep Austin Weird", Huang noted the virtue in keeping things off kilter, goofy, and unpredictable. He wouldn't bother with social media channels if the only thing it offered was another chance at broadcasting a new product offering, menu special, etc. "The internet, social media sites; people flock to the goofy stuff, that's the stuff that gets attention."
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